Bank employees in India may soon be working for just five days a week. While the Indian Banking Association (IBA) has already given its approval for the five-day work week, a nod from the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of India is awaited. Presently, banks function on the first, third and fifth Saturdays of the month, while the second and fourth Saturdays are off. Till 2015, they used to remain open for business six days a week. With the majority of customers transacting digitally these days, the actual number of people physically visiting banks has reduced drastically. Therefore, banks feel no need to remain open six days a week anymore.
Additionally, long-established private-sector banks as well as government-owned banks are demanding at least a 15 per cent pay hike for all employees, as per ToI. While the IBA has mooted a 15 per cent increment, unions will continue to push for a better hike along with other benefits.
Punjab National Bank (PNB) has reportedly already set aside a budget to accommodate a 15 per cent pay hike instead of a 10 per cent increment.
Bank staff and unions are demanding better pay given the fact that banks have witnessed profits recently thanks to the efforts of the employees and their hard work in promoting schemes even during the pandemic.
It is hoped that the wage agreement will happen before the 2023 Lok Sabha Elections.